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Method For Seaming Wide Panels Of EPDM Membrane To Form A Composite EPDM Roofing Membrane - Patent 6866732

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The present invention relates generally to a wide panel seaming method and apparatus for forming EPDM roofing membrane. More particularly, the present invention relates to a method and apparatus for continuously seaming cured stock wide panelsof EPDM membrane to form a composite EPDM roofing membrane of predetermined width and indefinite length.BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTIONEPDM is used as a single ply roofing membrane material for covering industrial and commercial flat roofs. EPDM roofing membrane having a thickness between 1/16 inch and 3/32 inch has been found to constitute an extremely useful waterproofroofing material, particularly for industrial and commercial buildings having relatively flat roofs of very large size. Such membranes are generally applied to the roof surface in a vulcanized or cured state. Because of outstanding weatheringresistance and flexibility, cured EPDM based roofing membrane has rapidly gained acceptance. Notwithstanding the wide acceptance of EPDM based roofing membrane, a disadvantage of utilizing these elastomers is the lack of adhesion of EPDM, especiallycured EPDM, to itself. Application of cured EPDM roofing membrane is typically highly labor intensive because, in applying sheets of EPDM roofing membrane to a roof, it is usually necessary to splice cured sheets of EPDM roofing membrane together.Typically, the roofing material comes in rolls and is rolled on in strips running the length of the building with a slight overlap between adjacent strips to provide a lap joint. Unfortunately, in the past such roofing material has typicallybeen available only in rolls of relatively narrow width, for example, four feet wide. For a roof of large dimensions, such as 200 feet by 400 feet, the time required to apply the roofing material strips of narrow width becomes excessive and, in light oftoday's high labor casts, relatively expensive. To reduce the application time, and hence the cost, of roofing with EPDM sheet stock, it is desirab

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